Monday, March 2, 2015

The LORD's compassion

Perhaps my favorite psalm is Ps 145, which praises God's universal benevolence and compassion at great length. I've posted about it and quoted it multiple times before, but it never hurts to hear the truth again.

My favorite verse from the psalm is this one:

The LORD is good to all,
  and his compassion is over all that he has made (v. 9).

Why is it important to think about God's compassion being over all that he has made? Among other reasons, it gives us confidence in approaching the Lord in prayer, no matter what the subject matter may be. This same sentiment is echoed in the epistle to the Hebrews:

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need (Heb 4.15-6).

Christ knows what it is like to live in the world, with all its temptations and trials; as the psalmist wrote, he remembers that we are dust (Ps 103.14). Because he knows the difficulty of our situation, we can approach him with confidence, expecting to receive grace and mercy. Dumitru Stăniloae likewise says somewhere that mercy everywhere and always accompanies Christ; for this reason we are always to seek mercy from him, pleading with Christ, Lord have mercy!

I love the compassionate God who is concerned for his creation, and who is concerned even for me. Though I sin against him and many times I run from his face, yet he is good to me and provides for me all the things I need. Among other things, he provided me with a wonderful job after I had been praying for years for such a thing. He gave me the job when I was able to work it, and not before when the demands of seminary were much higher than I could have handled.

I don't have much of anything to say in this post except to praise God's compassion. He is good to me, and to the whole world! He loves me and he loves the whole world! There is a quotation from Kuyper, I think, along these lines: "There is not one square inch of the entire universe about which Christ does not claim, 'Mine!'" I accommodate this sentiment thus: there is not one square inch in this universe for which the LORD's compassion and goodness has run out, or ever will.